Research Scholars:


Samuel Dooley's project is titled, “Disease, Death and Responsibility: Puritan Children in Early Modern England,” and asks what role the dying child had in ensuring that their soul went to heaven. To do this he will be focusing on the text “A Token for Children being an Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and Exemplary Lives and Joyful Deaths of Several Young Children" by James Janeway (London, 1676), a Puritan Minister and popular author of children’s books. (Supervisor Mike Zuber)
Connor Harvey will be exploring the extent to which the concept of Personalism reshaped the understanding of the secular and contributed to Christian support for the concept of human rights. Connor argues that the role of religious thought in informing universal human rights is often underappreciated and understanding this requires an examination of the evolving understanding of the secular that was prompted by the work of the Catholic personalists of the 1930s. (Supervisor Nick Heron)
Jasmine Lykissas's research project will be analysing the relationship between gender, chronic illness, and identity, looking specifically at diseases which have a much higher prevalence in one gender and comparing conceptions of identity between the genders when this is the case. (Supervisors Peter Cryle and Karin Sellberg)
Lucy Milne's project is titled “Coppélia: What Ballet can Illustrate about Human and Artificial Life Interface.” She will focus on Charles Nuitter’s Coppélia, a libretto for the ballet that premiered in Paris in 1870. She uses the text to explore attitudes to Pygmalionism amongst the Parisian bourgeoisie. (Supervisor Elizabeth Stephens)


Ashley Birrell is studying early modern sexuality and marriage, focusing on satires about marriages between old men and young women, described as “ill-matched couples.”

Imogene Bourke is using a set of scrapbooks and newspaper clippings in a collection at the Fryer Library to analyse what they reveal about how readers read and responded to Charles Dicken’s novels.

Marcel Garcia is researching the relationship between Radical Orthodox theology and science, in particular, what sources key Radical Orthodox theologians used to construct a critique of secular reason and how their theology may present models for thinking about the relationship of religion and science.

Thomas Goodwin is examining the use of literature as a historical source to write urban history, but analysing 19th-century descriptions of cities in novels.

Christian Rizzali is studying modern Italian cultural and political history. He will examine literature about southern Italian peasants post-WW2, focusing on Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli to analyze left-wing politics of a melancholy.

Rhiannon Smith is analysing early-20th century marriage manuals to analyse how they reflect and taught particular views of female sexuality.

Christopher White is studying pamphlets and sermons that discuss charges of witchcraft and heresy before the English Civil War to analyse how they used propaganda to encourage fear and anxiety and manipulate public emotions.


Madeleine Briggs (Supervisors: Karin Sellberg & Elizabeth Stephens): This project is about our evolving concept of gender over the past half century and the importance of biology as an indicator of gender. This will be pursued through the David Reimer case and Dr John Money's work.

Kaylee Gannaway (Supervisors: Karin Sellberg & Elizabeth Stephens): This project examines the developing discourse of male body hair removal and how it demonstrates a transformation in contemporary Australian masculinities amongst white, heterosexual men. It is particularly focusing on the advice and advertising present in the magazine, Men’s Health Australia

Kaitlin Peters (Supervisors: Tricia Ross & James Lancaster): By closely reading Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, this project aims to better understand how melancholy was understood as both a psychological disease and spiritual condition in the early modern period. I am particularly interested in what Burton and others from the early modern time period believed to be the causes and further cures of melancholy.

Sophie Priebbenow (Supervisors: Tricia Ross & James Lancaster):  This project is about the fatherhood and masculinity of elite men in seventeenth-century England, focusing on the education of sons, and how real historical figures conformed to publicised expectations.

Madeline Shield (Supervisors: Karin Sellberg & Elizabeth Stephens): This project explores negative 18th century conceptions of the fat and obese body, focusing particularly upon the work and letters of Bath physician George Cheyne (1671-1743) in order to elicit the cultural intersections between medical and layperson concerns over fat within this period.

Renzhe Zhang (Supervisor: Nina Li): ‘Civil Society’ refers to non-government organisations where citizens can express their will and interests. However, in China, the civil society is different. China does not have a Western democratic system and the Chinese have a much smaller sphere in which to discuss political ideas. Chinese uses the internet to express their ideas. My research aims to discover to what extent Chinese online debates reflect the growth of a civil society, and how people’s political ideas are changing with the development of the internet and global changes.


Monique Currie studied History. Her research topic involved looking at changes in acclimatisation discourses during the nineteenth century as related to medicine.

Bonnie Evans had just finished her Bachelor of Communication/Arts majoring in English Literature and Film and Television studies. She is interested in feminist media studies. Her project is looked at the romantic comedy genre in television, particularly the ways that television as a form influences representations of gender and relationships in the romantic comedy, and the potential for subversive treatment of genre and gender in the television romantic comedy.

Kalindi Hawkins majored in History. Her topic explored how early modern medical theories on the function of female semen relate to how the female body was perceived in that time frame.

Emily McConochie studied Development Practice at the University of Queensland with a focus on community development. Her project centred on the works of Marie Stopes, a British author, scientist and campaigner for eugenics and women's rights. Through this body of work, she examined cultural constructions of motherhood, the impact of contraception and the politics within the discourse promoting "children by choice".

Patrick Walsh graduated with a Bachelors of Science/Arts from UQ, with extended majors in Biomedical Science and History. His project researched the role of oestrogen in the 20th century.


Paige Donaghy: "Neither the species nor the forme of any creature": The Mole, Moon-Calf, or False Conception

Evelyn Hoare: The State of Exception: Misguided Lessons in the History of Emergency Powers

2015 Winter

Shastra Deo

Lotte Scheel